Peter Cummings with Restore Medical Fitness Clinic
It is quite the honor to be able to share so many stories of fellow proponents of metabolic health who have made it their life’s work to help treat metabolic disease outside of the standard practices of care. The progress is slow – but mighty! One patient, one story, one practitioner at a time, we will take back the health of this country.
Today’s interview is with Peter Cummings, Certified Nutrition Network Practitioner and Director of Restore Medical Fitness Clinic. Restore focuses on lifestyle therapeutics to treat and reverse metabolic health diseases. I encourage you to visit their website after reading the interview below. ~Erika
I Heart Keto Mart (IHKM): Why did you choose a practice in the keto / low carb space?
Peter: In 1995 I was looking to help people with weight loss, prediabetes, and diabetes control. Carbohydrate restriction was the most efficient and successful approach we found. It began with the work of Barry Sears with Enter the Zone and moved towards Atkins for those that needed more help.
IHKM: How did you get started?
Peter: In the late 1980s while contemplating career and education tracks, I realized that being a physician in a model of care that prioritized illness care over prevention and restoration was NOT for me. I set my sights to learn about exercise, physiology, and nutrition as well as how inappropriate lifestyle led to pathophysiology. This led to a career in health, wellness, and human performance.
I worked in the fitness industry from the late 1980s until 1993, then in 1993 I began working with individuals to achieve their personal health and fitness goals and in 1996 I opened my first medical fitness center. Then from 2002 until 2011, I focused primarily on human performance and endurance sports coaching.
In 2011, I was approached by a local physician group looking to develop a medical fitness model. I worked directly with a team of cardiologists for 5 years before purchasing the model from the practice. Since 2016 we have been operating in our current location.
IHKM: What was your biggest hurdle to overcome to start your business and how did you get over that hurdle?
Peter: Patience. When you know you have the answers to health issues and disease, it is difficult to realize the limitations of your ‘reach’. Lately, it seems we are becoming overnight successes with a publication in a top-tier peer-reviewed journal and my work with the Nutrition Network.
IHKM: What was your first big success with the start of your business?
Peter: When we help people get off medication and restore their health, it is comparable to my first national championship with my athletes. Both are very pleasing, but like all work in this field, they are works in progress.
IHKM: What is your most proud moment in coaching?
Peter: It is difficult to say. Winning my first of ten national championships is memorable. Reversing T2DM (Type 2 Diabetes) in our first patient was memorable. Becoming one of the first Nutrition Network Medical Practitioners in 2021 was a proud moment and getting our outcomes published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, which happened Dec 2022 was another ah-ha moment and very pleasurable. Truthfully, every day when my exercise physiologist submits another individual treatment plan with documented health restoration in a patient is a great day.
IHKM: What sets you apart from other clinics and practitioners?
Peter: I have always believed that lifestyle modification, including appropriate exercise, is not only medicine, it should be treated as medicine: Meaning, first do no harm. Whether it is an athlete striving for awards or a 60-year-old T2DM with other morbidities, we must always focus on safety first and foremost. The other thing is outcomes. We strive towards professional documentation of our outcomes and coordination of our care with other professionals such as physicians.
IHKM: What are you most excited about for the future of your business?
Peter: We are adding a Direct Primary Care physician to our team this year. While this physician has been involved since he was an exercise science intern with me in 2018, he is now completing his residency in June, and we will be offering patients direct access to medical care in-house. We are also beginning conversations with large self-funded employers to deliver our disease management and health restoration services to their employees to provide cost savings and improve health. It is an exciting time.
IHKM: What is something unique about you that you’d like our viewers to know about you and/or your company?
Peter: I think we have one of the most advanced comprehensive lifestyle modification models of care in existence. I had quite the epiphany when after Professor Timothy Noakes looked at what we had developed he demanded that he help us publish our outcomes suggesting, ‘This is the first outcomes-based health facility I have ever seen.’ I guess that makes us unique.
IHKM: Please give a word of advice about following a successful keto / sugar free / low carb way of life.
Peter: I think people need to realize that energy and how it is used in the body is much more than just calories. In fact, it has much more to do with other factors than calories. The idea that people are overweight and sick because they are gluttonous sloths and need to move more and eat less is not only moronic it is condescending. It is just plain wrong.
I have found few people that have failed to achieve their health goals by trying to move more and eat less. When your hormonal system has been hijacked by poor choices, choices that have been guided by misinformation (a calorie is a calorie for instance) people are being misled, and this storyline handicaps them on their journey.
When you get your diet right, you will self-correct. Your body has so many homeostatic mechanisms in place that, when you get it right, everything starts working better, and over time, just like how you gained weight or got sick, it will correct.
People need to find reputable practitioners with documented results and be patient. When you get your diet right, like when using a therapeutic carbohydrate restriction method, within days, your hunger will subside as you will begin to use your stored fat as fuel. You will unlock that refrigerator full of calories your body has been storing. Your waist will shrink, the weight comes off, your blood glucose will normalize, and your blood pressure will normalize. You will have more energy, you will sleep better, and the benefits will just continue to come.
IHKM: Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like us to share on our blog as well?
Peter: I have many but I always refer patients to www.dietdoctor.com. Their library of recipes and their meal planning, shopping list, and other tools are the best. Personally, I really like omelets with leftover meat and good cheese. I also have my own recipe to share, Pete’s Keto Choc/Nut Cookie, that my wife loves.
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2 tbsp baker’s cocoa powder
6 tsp. freeze-dried coffee (little caffeine)
4 large eggs
4 tbsp psyllium husk powder
1 cup chopped deluxe nuts
¼ cup almond slivers
4 tbsp natural peanut butter or almond butter
6 tbsp. honey
Mix all the dry ingredients well, then add eggs and honey. Mix well. I use the bottom of a muffin tin to shape them. You can use a heaping tablespoon per cookie. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, flip, 5 more minutes then reduce heat and 10 more minutes at 220 degrees, leave them in the oven another 5 minutes as the oven cools. I can make almost 2 dozen cookies with only about 14-15 grams of net carbs each.
My wife races bikes and these cookies are great for long training days. We use water and electrolytes in our bottles and when going for 90 minutes or more one or two of these cookies. They are pretty good in the afternoon with coffee too.
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